It was a week of mixed success for Liverpool’s loanees, as Sheyi Ojo shone with a goal-scoring display but two Reds saw loan spells ended early.
The borrowed Reds have enjoyed far more positive spells in recent weeks, with nearly all featuring for their temporary clubs.
But this week saw more mixed fortunes play out, with some loanees in great form, others less impressive and some Reds even seeing spells terminated early.
Here’s what happened across the last seven days for those plying their trade away from Anfield.
It was a great Christmas weekend for one loanee…
Ojo’s excellent form just rumbles on, with the youngster ensuring it will be very happy Christmas at Craven Cottage after scoring the winner in Fulham’s 2-1 victory over Barnsley.
Ojo shone as the Cottagers’ best player so it was fitting that he struck the decisive goal with an effort only he will know was intentional – which you can see and judge for yourself.
For sceptics, Ojo’s seemingly intended cross looped over the stranded Barnsley ‘keeper and into far corner – but for the convinced, the 20-year-old superbly found the top corner from the most improbable of positions.
The winner could have been one top strike in a memorable brace for Ojo, who nearly scored earlier with a brilliant – and intentional – curling effort which was tipped over the bar.
Buzzing to get the winning goal! Great team performance &
Christmas present to all our fans! ?? pic.twitter.com/tCf7zjmuHf
— Sheyi Ojo (@sheyi_ojo) December 23, 2017
Ojo now has three goals and two assists from 13 appearances this season, making for impressive numbers.
Four other Reds enjoyed match action…
Connor Randall continued his fine form with another excellent display on his fourth consecutive start, helping 10-man Hearts battle to a goalless draw at St Johnstone.
It was another result which continued Hearts’ strong defensive improvement since Randall moved to his natural right-back role – with the 22-year-old’s positional switch playing a key part in his side posting four successive clean sheets.
With Pedro Chirivella missing WillemII’s final two games of 2017 through injury, only two European-based Reds were in action to end the year ahead of winter breaks in their respective leagues.
That included Divock Origi, who signed off with a 40-minute appearance in Wolfsburg’s DFB Pokal Cup extra time win over Nurnburg in midweek.
The Belgian entered at 0-0 with 10 minutes of regulation time left to enjoy a rare outing in his natural striking position – and, unsurprisingly, he was in much-improved form.
Origi came mightily close to making an instant impact and breaking the deadlock with his first touches, only to see his left-foot shot hit the post before the Wolves eventually triumphed.
At the half-way stage of the season, Origi has played 17 games scoring four goals and claiming one assist.
Allan Rodrigues helped ensure it will be a very happy Christmas for all associated with Apollon Limassol, who ended with the 6-0 thrashing of Ermis.
The Brazilian played all 90 minutes of the rout and dominated the middle battle on what was his 10th appearance of his loan spell, but Allan’s wait for a goal or assist goes on.
There’s no Christmas respite for Taiwo Awoniyi however, and the Nigerian helped Royal Excel Mouscron to a 2-1 win over Zulte Waregem on Saturday.
Awoniyi played the victory as part of a strike duo, but he was in quieter form of the two as his partner grabbed the headlines with an influential display featuring a goal and assist.
Elsewhere, Ryan Kent didn’t feature in Freiburg’s last outing, with the winger once again uninvolved against Werder Bremen in midweek.
Kent will return to Merseyside during the break, and with his loan not going to plan, the Reds will reportedly consider terminating the spell before deciding whether to keep him or loan him to one of many interested Championship clubs.
Kent has played just six times for the Bundeslia side – for a total of just 241 minutes – and given his lack of game time already this season, a move to the Championship seems ideal.
Meanwhile, Naby Keita finished for Christmas after last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Hertha Berlin, and the midfielder posted five goals and one assist in 20 appearances in the first half of the season.
Disappointingly, two Reds saw loan moves come to a premature end…
It appears both of Liverpool’s League Two loanees have seen their respective spells terminated early – though there has been no official confirmation.
Reports in midweek suggested Shamal George’s time at Carlisle is over, with the young ‘keeper’s recent absence explained as a being down to an ankle injury which has seen his spell cut short.
And Toni Gomes’ absence from Forest Green’s squad on Saturday was reportedly down to the striker also being sent back to Anfield, though with no reason suggested as to why.
George made seven appearances at Carlisle keeping two clean sheets, while Gomes featured 12 times at Forest Green, registering two assists.
Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
- Origi – Played 40mins vs. Nurnburg
- Kent – Left out of matchday squad vs. Werder Bremen
- Ojo – Played 87mins & scored vs. Barnsley
- Randall – Played 90mins vs. St Johnstone
- Allan – Played 90mins vs. Ermis
- Awoniyi – Played 90mins vs. Zulte Waregem
- Chirivella – Injured vs. RKC Waalwijk & Ajax
- Gomes – Left out of matchday squad vs. Carlisle, with loan having been terminated
- George – Left out of matchday squad vs. Gillingham & Forest Green, with loan having been terminated
- Keita – N/A due to winter break